What is Photophobia?

October 13th, 2021

If your eyes are extremely sensitive to light, you have a condition called photophobia. Our ophthalmologists in Grand Junction often diagnose and recommend treatment for this condition. Glaucoma, cataracts, dry eye disease, and age-related macular degeneration can worsen or trigger light hypersensitivity. Keep reading to find out more about photophobia causes and treatment.

Photophobia Causes

What triggers a high sensitivity to light? As it turns out, quite a few things do.

Here are three medical conditions that often trigger photophobia:

  • Migraines are one of the main photophobia causes. During the prodromal phase (before migraine peaks) you may experience sensitivity to light.
  • Trigeminal neuralgia (condition impacting facial nerves)
  • Head trauma and fibromyalgia can also cause photophobia.

If you have face or head pain, such as a toothache, optic nerve disease, or meningitis, you may also experience photophobia.

Certain medications can also cause light sensitivity. This includes tetracycline, a dental antibiotic, and the following medications:

  • Methotrexate
  • Chloroquine
  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen
  • Methylphenidate
  • Haloperidol

Luckily, most cases of photophobia resolve with treatment of the underlying cause.

Photophobia Eye Exam

To determine the cause of your photophobia, one of our eye doctors in Grand Junction can perform an eye exam. They look for signs of glaucoma, cataracts or other conditions triggering your photophobia.

During the exam, your eye doctor will thoroughly evaluate your eye and any testing to help determine the cause of your photophobia.

Photophobia Treatment

One of our eye doctors in Grand Junction can perform an examination to determine whether you have photophobia. Often, a change in prescription can trigger light sensitivity. Treatment options also include anti-anxiety medication and antibiotics.

Additionally, treatment of underlying causes such as glaucoma, uveitis and dry eyes will improve photophobia. If you have an extreme fear of light, your physician may recommend psychotherapy and other psychological treatment that can resolve your mental health challenge.

If you do have a fear of light, you can also wear sunglasses outdoors and dim the lights while at home. UV glasses, hats with wide brims, and other sun-blocking apparel may alleviate the severity of your photophobia.

As you can see, it’s extremely important to diagnose and treat the underlying problem of photophobia.

Reduce Risk Factors

There are several things you can do to reduce photophobia. While driving, go slowly to give yourself more time to react to unforeseen hazards. Individuals with photophobia should always wear sunglasses to avoid sun damage.

Many people wear prescription glasses while driving at night. If your photophobia flares up, avoid driving until the next day.

Does Treatment for Photophobia Work?

Dry eye disease and cataracts are just two of the eye conditions that can cause light sensitivity. Fortunately, if cataracts are causing your problem, our surgeons excel in cataract and LASIK surgery in Grand Junction. With an experienced eye doctor, you can overcome your sensitivity to light and ensure your vision for a brighter tomorrow.

Contact our eye doctors in Grand Junction to set up an appointment for your light sensitivity or an underlying condition. We take the time to explain the condition prior to beginning non-surgical and surgical treatment. So, don’t hesitate to get the help you need.

Request An Appointment.

Give us a phone call at (970) 256-0400 Monday – Friday, 8am-5pm to schedule a consultation.

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